Sunday, January 06, 2008

my notepad

Have you ever doled out advice only to wonder afterward if it was good? I have.

Fifteen minutes is a very short segment of time in which to hear of a situation, weigh the options, convey compassion and understanding, and then follow it up with good old-fashioned advice. A fifteen minute phone call every Sunday evening is our precious window of conversational opportunity. Fifteen minutes, I say, in which to download a week's worth of happenings and then to project a dose of faith into the week ahead. The up-side of a meager time limit is this: brevity, clarity, pointedness, and straight-shooting are your friends. Impact is one's aim. Only a hot-line to heaven can guarantee sound results.
--That, and purified love for the dear person on the receiving end.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

A law that could punish love? Joy? Kindness or goodness? There is no such law; nor could there ever be. In the darkest dungeon, in the direst of straits, in the throws of our bleakest hour when every last shred of freedom has been stripped from us, God has declared that we are free to practice these amazing qualities.

So, what is hindering us from cranking out large, over-sized quantities of spiritual fruit? There should be, by all rights, a veritable vat of fruit salad on the kitchen table available to whosoever will have it, night and day. I mean, look at that list! What is there not to love? And HOW CAN I GET THAT GOODNESS INTO ME?
A new year is mine. I resolve, by the grace of God, to produce more fruit. How 'bout you?


Friend #7 wants to play Scrabble. She has opened the box and arranged the board on the coffee table on which I rest my feet. I watch her warily over the glowing screen of my laptop. She looks not unlike a spider eyeing a fly. Having whupped me soundly the last three (3) games, I waffle in my decision to enter her lair. We take Scrabble seriously around here.
What would Jesus do? He would graciously play a killer-game and then let the opponent win in the end. That would be patience, kindness, and goodness all rolled into one.
*edit* Actually, I did win. It was GOOD of me to play with her, KIND 0f me to only win by 4 points. The PATIENCE is a given, seeing how long she took to lay down her tiles. See? Fruit everywhere....


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